A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman killed at least 53 people and wounded scores in an attack on Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims at a checkpoint in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Saturday.The attack at the end of Arbain, one of the main religious observances on the Shi'ite calendar.
The pilgrims had been on their way to a major Shi'ite mosque to the west of Basra, police said.
A provincial health official who asked not to be named put the toll at 35 dead and 90 wounded. Scores
of people have been killed in attacks on pilgrims in the last few weeks, including a suicide bombing which killed at least 44 people.
Attacks on Shi'ites have killed dozens of people since Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government issued an arrest warrant for a Sunni vice president, triggering a political crisis that risks scuttling a power-sharing agreement.